Mission Flexible – Minimum General Requirements for a UAV Training Concept

Open Access
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Conference Proceedings
Authors: Maria HaglMaria StolzAnne PapenfußMarcus BiellaKevin Dwinger

Abstract: Training concepts for UAV crews are often based on the well-defined requirements for the respective work organization. The more formalized a UAV organization is structured, the more specific a suitable training concept can be elaborated. UAV missions are often run in such highly structured frameworks and require therefore very specific training concepts. However, UAV missions are also conducted within more flexible setups. Sometimes, if not often, this flexibility is needed. This is the case when novel UAV-organizations are developed with iteratively elaborated operational and training concepts. In other cases, flexibility is necessary when already existent UAV-organizations use different drones or deal with constantly varying flight missions. Current findings provide information on the necessary prerequisites regarding the competencies of UAV personnel. However, this information can only be used to a limited extent to draw conclusions about training in terms of form and content. Some of these competencies are already required for a trainee qualification, others are enforced during training – tailored to the needs of specific UAV-organizations. Uniform standards and minimum requirements for successful UAV trainings are scarce in existing literature and very context-dependent. Therefore, our goal within this present study is to explore gross minimum requirements for UAV training and to describe them in such a way that they can flexibly serve the development of UAV training concepts. More precisely, we address general minimum requirements for a training concept that should make UAV operations cross-organizational and cross-mission possible. Using a semi-structured interview guide, we surveyed four UAV-pilots and five GCS-operators to generate a broad set of relevant themes regarding form and substance of an adequate training concept. Within the interviewed UAV-pilots and GCS-operators, circa two third had experiences with either fixed wing drones or rotor drones and a third was familiar with flying both. The interviews took place online and lasted from 60 to 80 minutes. Notes were taken over a shared screen and the interviewees were able to interfere in order to correct for potential mistakes. Following a thematic analysis, four main themes related to training were generated: (1) Individual Training, (2) Crew Training, (3) Emotion regulation and Fear Management Training, and (4) Training Structure and Multiple Training Environments. Within the main theme Individual Training, subthemes are (a) Instrument related training and (b) Task specific training for high workload tasks. Within the main theme Crew Training, subthemes include (c) Communication and (d) Mutual role understanding and internalized coordination between crew members. Regarding the main theme Training Structure and Multiple Training Environments, a further distinction was made between four subthemes (e) Theoretical education and practical familiarization, (f) Dry run, (g) Flight simulation training, and (h) In situ training.As a main conclusion, our findings provide a rough framework of minimum requirements for UAV training that can inspire and support other researchers who aim to develop initial training concepts. These can remain flexible in the minimum requirement range, or be refined for a specific UAV organization if needed.

Keywords: Training Concept, UAV, UAV Crew Training, Minimum Training Requirements

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003165

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